Get Creative: Profile Of Six Content Marketers Of The Year Finalists

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Each year the Content Marketing Institute honors marketers who push the boundaries of what’s possible to accomplish with content. These are creative, results-driven professionals whose bodies of work drive each of us to try harder and reach higher. This year we’ve chosen six finalists, each one recognized for his or her expertise in a particular aspect of content marketing. Read on for evidence of what made these marketers stand out, and look for the winner of this year’s Content Marketer of the Year award to be announced at Content Marketing World in September. #CREATIVE

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 ENGAGEMENT PAUL CRANDELL Senior Vice President of Marketing GoPro GoPro practically invented user-generated visual content. Its customers use the strap-on video camera to film themselves doing everything — from mountain biking and back-country skiing to racing around a NASCAR track — and all that content means massive reach for the adrenaline-fueled brand. Paul Crandell manages this monolithic content program, which includes a wildly popular YouTube channel — 6,000 or more GoPro-tagged videos are uploaded to the channel every day, earning the brand over 3.2 million subscribers. #CREATIVE

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To kick it up a notch, GoPro started partnering with extreme sports stars like Olympic snowboarder Shaun White, professional skateboarder Ryan Sheckler, and 129 other athletes. Crandell also recently struck a deal with the National Hockey League to mount GoPro cameras on players’ helmets to provide point-ofview shots that let fans experience what it’s like to score a goal. #CREATIVE

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 B2C VIDEO STORYTELLING ALIA KEMET U.S. Media Manager IKEA Since it was founded in 1943, IKEA has always positioned itself as a “life improvement store,” rather than just another purveyor of home furnishings. Fortunately, IKEA has U.S. Media Manager Alia Kemet in its corner. Kemet has been instrumental in teaching the company how to show (not just tell) consumers the ways its products can improve their lives. For example, leveraging the power of video, Kemet has created a multifaceted program that places its focus on helping customers solve their interior design challenges. #CREATIVE

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Through its endearing video series offerings, IKEA has demonstrated that it’s more than comfortable with making fun of itself (and its über popular Swedish meatballs). Two of its biggest productions are the funny web series, “Easy to Assemble,” and the educational “Fix this Kitchen,” which also airs on TV on the A&E network. But perhaps one of its best-known videos is “The Power of a bookbook™.” Just 2 minutes 29 seconds long, the video touts the wonders of IKEA’s user-friendly print catalog that’s “pre-installed with thousands of home furnishing ideas,” and has already been viewed more than 17 million times. #CREATIVE

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 PERFORMANCE VISHAL KHANNA Director of Marketing and Business Development Wake Forest Innovations Vishal Khanna joined the Wake Forest Innovations team in 2013 to lead the marketing charge for an entity that never had a formal marketing program before. His mandate: to build awareness and introduce new technology licenses that can be purchased by pharmaceutical and biotech companies, promote those initiatives to investors in the biotech space, and increase demand for use of Wake Forest Innovations’ research and laboratory testing services. But without an academic B2B content model he could follow, Khanna, instead, studied the success of content models in other industries and then translated and reverse-engineered the process to fit an education environment. #CREATIVE

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What resulted was a set of five distinct websites — one for each of Wake Forest’s key areas of focus: technology that’s available for licensing; an innovation district; preclinical medical device and therapeutic testing; core laboratory services; and ultrasound education. Khanna started by developing a methodical process for gathering information, which helped streamline Wake Forest’s process for receiving technical input from its scientists. Now, each 90-minute interview it conducts is able to yield at least three content assets, plus a video and photos. In the last year, this approach delivered $10 million in marketing-qualified leads, a 600-percent increase in web-based leads, and a 183-percent increase in interactions with prospects, which resulted in a 100-percent increase in sales revenue. #CREATIVE

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 INFLUENCER MARKETING DAVID BEEBE VP Global Creative and Content Marketing Marriott Creating rabid brand fans by providing them with engaging, informative, and entertaining content in all formats and across all channels is David Beebe’s mission at Marriott International and its portfolio of 19 brands. Beebe transformed Marriott’s in-house creative agency into the industry’s first organization that develops consumer-facing creative for brands but also invests in original content. The content group partners with the creative community to produce and distribute story-driven content, including webisodes, TV shows, short films, and books; plus, Beebe partners with social media influencers to produce travel videos, vlogs, and short films. “All the content we’re creating — whether it’s about destinations, travel hacks, or entertainment — is produced in partnership with the creative community,” he says. #CREATIVE

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Some of those video projects include JacksGap, a travel vlog produced by Jack Harries, who shares it with his 4 million subscribers. There is also a series of interactive stories shared on Snapchat; Year of Surprises, a 12-episode series for Marriott Rewards members; Travel Brilliantly, a crowdsourced travel innovation program; and The Navigator Live, which takes visitors behind-thescenes with musicians performing at Marriott properties. One of Beebe’s most ambitious projects to date is Two Bellmen, a short film available in Marriott hotel rooms, online, and through a brief theatrical run. #CREATIVE

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 INDUSTRY STORYTELLING KATHY BUTTON BELL Chief Marketing Officer Emerson #ILoveSTEM is one facet of Kathy Button Bell’s efforts to reposition the Emerson brand, capitalize on the company’s 125th anniversary, and attract its target market: hip science geeks. The #ILoveSTEM campaign was designed in partnership with Hank Green, an internet and science celebrity. The goal is to inspire the next generation to become engineers and scientists by highlighting what’s cool about science. It’s a program with a longterm focus, as Emerson works to position itself as a leader in the sciences while targeting students who could be its future hires, as well as customers. #CREATIVE

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The key to the success of #ILoveSTEM lies in the transition from traditional marketing tactics to brand storytelling. By sharing the science-is-cool message across numerous platforms, the company can also show how Emerson is progressive and authentic, explains Button Bell. #ILoveSTEM also has a website, social media posts, network TV commercials, YouTube videos, and print ads in The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, and Fortune. #CREATIVE

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 SCALING CONTENT MARKETING PATRICIA BROWN Director of The Content Hub CSC When Gary Stockman came on board as chief marketing officer at CSC a year ago, he recognized the value of content marketing and storytelling. He asked Patty Brown to lead what would become known as The Content Hub for CSC. The Hub’s overall mandate was to create engaging content, with consistent messaging, throughout the company and develop processes to repurpose that content in many languages across the numerous countries where CSC does business. A veteran journalist for trade publications and a content consultant with her own firm before joining CSC, Brown had just the right mix of editorial and technical know-how to pull it off. #CREATIVE

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Brown’s team has 75-80 content assets in production in any given week — yet she manages it all with a team of just 13 people. In addition to overseeing content published through CSC.com and 12 distinct email newsletters, the group manages a print magazine, a speakers’ bureau, a town hall series, an annual CIO survey, and Ingenious Minds, a microsite that highlights SMEs inside the company. Brown says reuse and repurposing is a major theme; CSC gets extra mileage out of high-quality, evergreen content by customizing aspects of existing assets for different regions and industries. #CREATIVE

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To learn more about each of this year’s finalists, check out their stories at Content Marketing Institute. Sign up to our weekly newsletter to receive additional articles that detail the work of each of the finalists in the weeks leading up to this year’s Content Marketing World. Special thanks to Ardath Albee, lead judge for the Content Marketer of the Year award. ABOUT CONTENT MARKETING INSTITUTE Content Marketing Institute is the leading global content marketing education and training organization, teaching enterprise brands how to attract and retain customers through compelling, multi-channel storytelling. CMI’s Content Marketing World event, the largest content marketingfocused event, is held every September in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, and the Intelligent Content Conference event is held every spring. CMI publishes the bi-monthly magazine Chief Content Officer, and provides strategic consulting and content marketing research for some of the best-known brands in the world. CMI is a 2012, 2013 and 2014 Inc. 500 company. #CREATIVE

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